We’re back from Disney World and it was great. Certainly not a relaxing vacation, but a fun one.
We flew out Friday morning, checked in at the Caribbean Beach Resort, had lunch, and were at the first park by 1:00. We took in a full day at Epcot, but skipped most of the “World Showcase” section, which is mostly buildings, food, and shops. I mean, really, in the DC area where can we NOT buy products from China or meet people from Mexico? We hit many of the major attractions, and the kids played in the Innoventions section while I dozed in a hard plastic chair.
On Saturday we slept in, having put in a solid 18 hours the day before. We got to Animal Kingdom about 1:00 and spun our wheels trying to get in the attractions. It’s hard to navigate the park, which is build like spokes off a wheel. It was always our luck to be at one end when we needed to get to the other. After a while, we got into the groove and saw most of the major attractions including an extremely wet ride at Kali River Rapids. We decided the “you will get wet” sign should add “and may get drenched.” We missed some of the animal exhibits, but again DC area, National Zoo. No worries there.
Sunday was the best day at Hollywood Studios. We’re big movie people, so we loved the behind-the-scenes stuff like backlot tours, stunt car driving tricks, and sound studios. The shows were great, and the park was easy to get around. We got there early and with some careful planning on the times of the shows, we were able to do everything we wanted to do. Our nine-year-old even got picked to be part of the Jedi training and join in the High School Musical dance. The big kids my twelve-year-old and my husband fit in two turns on the Tower of Terror. My favorite part was lunch at the Prime Time Cafe. The place is set up like a fifties home and the waitresses act like members of your family. It’s totally fun.
The Magic Kingdom was on the schedule for Monday, and even with an entire long day there, we didn’t see everything. In the end, we did see the most important things to all of us, but it was at times tiring and frustrating. The park is huge and we ended up walking across it far more than we’d planned. The park is popular, and thus very crowded. It also featured the highest proportion of crying kids and slow-moving adults. Still, we had a great time on lots of rides, including two trips on Space Mountain and a ride on Dumbo during the fireworks.
On our last day, we checked out and headed to Epcot for a couple of big attractions we had missed. The timing started off badly with a longer-than-expected process to check our bags for the airport service and to wait for the shuttle. We ended up with a long line for the first attraction of the day, which really cut into our time. However, we were able to hit the four things we had missed and get an extra turn on the Mission: SPACE ride. Then it was back to the hotel, pick up our bags, ride to the airport, fly home, and in bed at midnight.
I have to say that I’m amazed by how much we packed in. I’m also really proud of my kids, who never whined or complained, and kept up the pace for the whole time. Trips like this bring out the worst sides of people, but we are getting good at working with those idiosyncrasies. I get irritable, so I make sure to ask for some space or quiet instead of lashing out. The third grader gets clingy, so we give her extra hugs and then distract her. The sixth grader gets absent-minded, so we go over the schedule twice or three times. The husband gets angry, but it’s only occasional so we let it blow over. And, of course, these are only a small part of the experience. We’re a fun-loving family with lots of energy, so Disney World is the perfect place for us. You know, every four years or so.